A Character's skills represent a variety of abilities. As a character advances in level, he or she gets better at using some or all of her skills.

A character gets a base allotment of 2, 4, 6, or 8 skill points for each new level, depending on the class to which that level was added. If the character gaining his or her first character level over all (that is, gaining his or her first level in any class), add his or her Intelligence modifier to the base skill point allotment for the class and multiply the total by four, then add an extra 4 points if the character is human.

If you buy a class skill (such as Listen for a rogue or Spellcraft for a cleric), your character gets 1 rank (equal to a +1 bonus on checks with that skill) for each skill point. If you buy other classes' skills (cross-class skills), you get 1/2 rank per skill point. Your maximum rank in a class skill is your character level + 3. Your maximum rank in a cross-class skill is one-half of this number (do not round up or down).

To make a skill check, roll: 1d20 + Skill modifier (skill modifier = skill rank + ability modifier + miscellaneous modifiers.) This roll works just like an attack roll or a saving throw--the hire the roll, the better. Either you're trying to match or exceed a certain Difficulty Class (DC), or you're trying to beat another character's check result. For instance, to sneak quietly past a guard, Lidda needs to beat the guard's listen check result with her own move silently check result.

A character's number of ranks in a skill is based on how many skill points a character has invested in a skill. Many skills can be used even if the character has no ranks in them; doing this is called making an untrained skill check.

The ability modifier used in a skill check is the modifier for the skill's key ability (the ability associated with the skills use).

Miscellaneous Modifiersinclude racial bonuses, armor check penalties, and bonuses provided by feats among others.

Appraise (INT)[edit | edit source]

Use this skill to tell an antique from old junk, a sword that's old and fancy from an elven heirloom, and high-quality jewelry from cheap stuff made to look good.

Check: You can appraise common or well-known objects with a DC 12 appraise check. Failure means that you estimate the value at 50% to 150% of its actual value. The DM secretly rolls 2d6+3 and multiplies the result by 10%, multiples the actual value by that percentage, then tells you the resulting value for the item. (For a common or well-known item, your chance of estimating the value within 10% is fairly high even if you fail the check--in such a case, you made a lucky guess.)

Apprasing a rare or exotic item requires a successful check against DC 15, or 20, or higher. If the check is successful, you estimate the value correctly; failure means you can not estimate the item's value.

A magnifying glass gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Appraise checks involving any item that is small or highly detailed, such as a gem. A merchant's scale gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Appraise checks involving any items that are valued by weight, including anything made of precious metals. These bonuses stack.

Action: Appraising an item takes one minute (ten consecutive full round actions).

Try Again: No. You cannot try again on the same object, regardless of success.

Special: A dwarf gets a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items because dwarves are familiar with valuable items of all kinds (especially those made of stone or metal).

The master of a raven familiar gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checks.

A character with the Diligent feat gets a +2 bonus on Appraise checks

Synergy: If you have 5 ranks in any craft skill, you gain a +2 bonus on appraise checks related to items made with that craft skill.

Untrained: For common items, failure on an untrained check means no estimate. For rare items success means an estimate of 50% to 150% (2d6+3 x 10%).

Balance (DEX; Armor Check Penalty)[edit | edit source]

You can keep your balance while walking n a tightrope, a narrow beam, a slippery ledge, or an uneven floor.

Check: You can walk on a precarious surface. A successful check lets you move at half your speed along the surface for one round. A failure by 4 means you can't move for one round. A failure by 5 or more means you fall. The difficulty varies with the surface as follows

Narrow Surface Balance DC1 Difficult Surface Balance DC1
7-12 inches wide 10 Uneven flagstone 102
2-6 inches wide 15 Hewn stone floor 102
Less than 2 inches wide 20 Sloped or angled floor 102
  1. Add modifers from Narrow Surface Modifiers, below, as appropriate
  2. Only if running or charging. Failure by 4 or less means the character can't run or charge, but may otherwise act normally
Narrow Surface Modifiers DC Modifier1
Lightly obstructed (scree, light rubble) +2
Severely obstructed (natural cavern floor, dense rubble) +5
Lightly slippery (wet floor) +2
Severely slippery (ice sheet) +5
Sloped or angled +2
  1. Add the appropriate modifier to the Balance DC of a narrow surface. These modifiers stack.

Being Attacked while Balancing: You are considered flat-footed while balancing, since you can't move to avoid a blow, and thus you lose your dexterity bonus to AC (if any). If you have 5 or more ranks in Balance, you aren't considered flat footed while balancing. If you take damage while balancing, you must make another Balance check against the same DC to remain standing.

Accelerated Movement: You can try to walk across a precarious surface more quickly than normal. If you accept a -5 penalty, you can move your full speed as a move action. Moving twice your speed in a round requires two balance checks, one for each move action used. You may also accept this penalty in order to charge across a precarious surface; charging requires one Balance check for each multiple of your speed (or fraction thereof) that you charge.

Action: None. A Balance check doesn't require an action; it is made as part of another action or as a reaction to a situation.

Special: If you have the Agile feat, you get a +2 bonus on Balance checks

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble, you get a +2 bonus on Balance checks.

Bluff (CHA)[edit | edit source]

You can make the outrageous or the untrue seem plausible, or use doublespeak or innuendo to deliver a secret message to another character. The skill encompasses acting, conning, fast talking, misdirection, prevarication, and misleading body language. Use a bluff to sow temporary confusion, get someone to turn and look where you point, or simply look innocuous.

Check: A Bluff check is opposed by the target's Sense Motive check. See the accompanyng table for examples of different kinds of bluffs and the modifier to the target's Sense Motive check for each one.

Example Circumstances Sense Motive Modifier
The target wants to believe you.

"These emeralds aren't stolen. I'm just desperate for coin right nw, so I'm offering them to you cheap"

The bluff is believeable and doesn't affect the target much.

"I don't know what you're talking about, sir. I'm just a simple peasant girl here for the fair."

The bluff is a little hard to believe or puts the target at some risk.

"You want orcs to fight? I'll take you all on myself. I don't need my friends' help. Just don't get your blood all over my new surcoat

The bluff is hard to believe or puts the target at significant risk.

"This diadem doesn't belong to the duchess. It just looks like hers. Trust me, I wouldn't see you jewelry that would get you hanged, would I?"

The bluff is way out there; it's almost too incredible to consider.

"You might find this hard to believe, but i'm actually a lammasu who's been polymorphed into a halfling form by an evil sorcerer. You know we lammasu are trustworthy, so you can believe me.


Favorable and unfavorable circumstances weigh heavily on the outcome of a bluff. Two circumstnces can weigh against you: The bluff is hard to believe, or the action that the target is asked to take goes against its self-interest, nature, personality, orders, or the like. If it's important, the DM can distinguish between a bluff that fails because the target doesn't believe it and one that fails because it just asks too much of the target. For instance, if the target gets a +10 bonus on its Sense Motive check because the bluff demands something risky, and the Sense Motive check succeeds by 10 or less, then the target didn't so much see the bluff as prove reluctant to go along with it. A target that succeeds by 11 or more has seen through the bluff (and would have done so even if that bluff had not entailed any demand).

A successful Bluff check indicates that the target reacts as you wish, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less) or believes something that you want it to believe. Bluff, however is not a suggeston spell. For example, you could use bluff to put a shopkeeper off guard by saying that his shoes are untied. At best, such a bluff would make the shopkeeper glance down at his shoes. It would not cause him to ignore you and fiddle with his shoes.

A bluff requires interaction between you and the target. Creatures unaware of you cannot be bluffed.

  • Feinting in Combat: You can also use Bluff to mislead an opponent in melee combat (so that it can't dodge your next attack effectively). To Feint, make a Bluff check opposed by your target's Sense Motive check, but in this case, the target may add its base attack bonus to the roll along with any other applicable modifiers. If your Bluff check result exceeds this special Sense Motive check result, your target is denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) for the next melee attack you make against it. This attack must be made on or before your next turn.

Feinting in this way against a nonhumanoid is difficult because it's harder to read a strange creature's body language; you take a -4 penalty on your bluff check. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2) it's even harder; you take -8 penalty. Against a non-intelligent creature, it's impossible.

Feinting in combat does not provoke an attack of opportunity

  • Creating a Diversion to Hide: You can use the Bluff skill to help you hide. A successful Bluff check gives you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you. This usage does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
  • Delivering a Secret Message: You can use Bluff to get a message across to another character without others understanding it. Two rogues, for example, might seem to be talkig about bakery goods when they're really planning how to break into the evil wizards's laboratory. The DC is 15 for simple messages, or 20 for complex messages, especially those that rely on getting across new information. Failure by 4 or less means you can't get the message across. Failure by 5 or more means that sme false information has been implied or inferred. Anyone listening to the exchange can make a Sense Motive check opposed by the Bluff check you made to transmit in order to intercept your message.

Action: Varies. A Bluff check made as a part of general interaction always takes 1 round (and is at least a full-round action), but it can take much longer if you try something elaborate. A bluff check made to feint in combat or create a diversaion to hide is a standard action. A Bluff check made to deliver a secret message doesn't take an action; it is a part of normal communication. However the DM may limit the amount of information you can convey in a single round.

Try Again: Generally, a failed Bluff check in social interaction makes the target too suspicious for you to try again in the same circumstances, but you may retry freely on bluff checks made to feint in combat. Retries are also allowed when you are trying to send a message, but you may attempt such a retry only once per round. Each retry carries the same chance of miscommunication

Special: A ranger gains a bonus on Bluff checks when using this skill against a favored enemy. The Master of a snake familiar gains a +3 bonus on bluff checks. If you have the Persuasive feat, you get a +2 bonus on Bluff checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Slight of Hand checks as well as on Disguise checks made when you know you're being observed and you try to act in character.

Climb (STR; Armor Check Penalty)[edit | edit source]

Use this skill to scale a cliff, to get to the window on the second story of a wizard's tower, or to climb out of a pit after falling through a trapdoor.

Check: With a successful Climb check, you can advance up, down, or across a slope, a wall, or some other steep incline (or even a ceiling with handholds) at one-quarter your normal speed. A slope is considered to be any incline at an angle measuring less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline at an angle measuring 60 degrees or more.

A climb check that fails by 4 or less means that you make no progress, and one that fails by 5 or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained.

A climber's kit gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Climb checks.

The DC of the check depends on the conditions of the climb. Compare the task with those on the following table to determine an appropriate DC.

Climb DC Example of Surface or Activity
0 A slope too steep to walk up, or a knotted rope with a wall to brace against
5 A rope with a wall to brace against, or a knotted rope, or a rope affected by the rope trick spell.
10 A surface with ledges to hold on to and stand on, such as a very rough wall or a ship's rigging
15 Any surface with adequate handholds and footholds (natural or artificial), such as a very rough natural rock surface or tree, or an unknotted rope, or pulling yourself up when dangling by your hands
20 An uneven surface with some narrow handholds and footholds, such as a typical wall in a dungeon or ruins.
25 A rough surface such as a natural rock wall or a brick wall
25 An overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds
-- A perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surface cannot be climbed.
Climb DC Modifier Example Surface or Activity
-10 Climbing a chimney (artificial or natural) or other location where you can brace against two opposite walls
-5 Climbing a corner where you can brace against perpendicular walls
+5 Surface is slippery

You need both hands free to climb, but you may cling to a wall with one hand while you cast a sell or take some other action that requires only one hand. While climbing, you can't move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any). You also can't use a shield while climbing.

Any time you take damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall from your current height and sustain the appropriate falling damage.

  • Accelerated Climbing: You try to climb more quickly than normal. By accepting a -5 penalty, you can move half your speed (instead of one-quarter your speed)
  • Making your own handholds and footholds: You can make your own handholds and footholds by pounding pitons into a wall. Doing so takes 1 minute per piton, and one piton is needed per 3 feet of distance. As with any surface that offers handholds and footholds, a wall with pitons in it has a DC of 15. In the same way, a climber with a handaxe or similar implement can cut handholds in an ice wall.
  • Catching yourself when falling: It's practically impossible to catch yourself on a wall while falling. Make a Climb check (DC = walls DC + 20) to do so. It's much easier to catch yourself on a slope (DC = slope's DC + 10)
  • Catching a falling character while climbing: If someone climbing above you or adjacent to you falls, you can attempt to catch the falling character if he or she is within your reach. Doing so requires a successful melee touch attack against the falling character (though he or she can voluntarily forgo any Dexterity bonus to AC if desired. If you ht, you must immediately attempt a Climb check (DC = wall's DC + 10). Success indicates that you catch the falling character, but his or her total weight, including equipment, cannot exceed your heavy load limit or you automatically fall. If you fail your climb check by 4 or less, you fail to stop the character's fall but don't lose your grip on the wall. If you fail by five or more, you fail to stop the character's fall and begin falling as well.

Action: Climbing is part of movement, so it's generally part of a move action (and may be combined with other types of movement in a move action). Each move action that includes any climbing requires a separate Climb Check. Catching yourself or another falling character doesn't take an action.

Special: You can use a rope to haul a character upward (or lower a character) through sheer strength, you can lift double your maximum load in this manner.

A halfling has a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks because halflings are agile and surefooted.

The master of a lizard familiar gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks.

If you have the Athletic feat, you get a +2 bonus on Climb checks.

A creature with a climb speed (such as a monstrous spider, or a character under the effect of a spider climb spell) has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. The creature must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC higher than 0, but it always can choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. If a creature with a climb speed chooses an accelerated climb, it moves at double its climb speed and makes a single Climb check at a -5 penalty. Such a creature retains Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus to their attacks against it. It cannot, however, use the run action while climbing.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Use Rope, you get a +2 bonus on Climb checks made to climb a rope, a knotted rope, or a rope-and-wall combination

Concentration[edit | edit source]

Craft[edit | edit source]

Decipher Script[edit | edit source]

Diplomacy[edit | edit source]

Disable Device[edit | edit source]

Disguise[edit | edit source]

Escape Artist[edit | edit source]

Forgery[edit | edit source]

Gather Information[edit | edit source]

Handle Animal[edit | edit source]

Heal[edit | edit source]

Hide[edit | edit source]

Intimidate[edit | edit source]

Jump[edit | edit source]

Knowledge[edit | edit source]

Arcana[edit | edit source]

Architecture and Engineering[edit | edit source]

Dungeoneering[edit | edit source]

Forbidden Lore[edit | edit source]

Geography[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Local[edit | edit source]

Nature[edit | edit source]

Nobility and Royalty[edit | edit source]

Religion[edit | edit source]

the Planes[edit | edit source]

Listen[edit | edit source]

Move Silently[edit | edit source]

Open Lock[edit | edit source]

Perform[edit | edit source]

Profession[edit | edit source]

Ride[edit | edit source]

Search[edit | edit source]

Sense Motie[edit | edit source]

Slight of Hand[edit | edit source]

Speak Language[edit | edit source]

Spellcraft[edit | edit source]

Spot[edit | edit source]

Survival[edit | edit source]

Swim[edit | edit source]

Tumble[edit | edit source]

Use Magic Device[edit | edit source]

Use Rope[edit | edit source]

Skill Synergy[edit | edit source]

Checks without Rolls[edit | edit source]

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